Etravirine Lowers Risk of Hospitalization for Patients With HIV

Researchers find a new nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor may help keep hospitalization rates low for patients with HIV.


When all 3 original classes of antiretroviral drugs no longer suppress viral load in a patient with HIV, the next step may be a new drug like etravirine (ETR), a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). And, according to a French study, that could be a good way of keeping patients out of the hospital.

Using data from the French Hospital Database on HIV (FHDH), researchers analyzed hospitalization rates among heavily treated HIV-1 infected patients on failing regimens between 2005 (etravirine became available in France in 2006) and 2011. They compared 2 groups of patients: those who had received ETR plus a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor (PI) and those who had not. The primary endpoint of the study was hospitalization, divided by AIDS-defining cause and non–AIDS-defining cause.

Of 3,884 patients who had been exposed to at least 2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI), 2 PIs, and 1 NNRTI, 838 received ETR + PI.

During 13,986 person-years of follow-up, there were 2,484 hospitalizations among 956 patients: 617 were from an AIDS-defining cause in 301 patients, and 1,867 from a non–AIDS-defining cause in 828 patients.


The ETR + PI was associated with a 20% reduction in the hospitalization rate, mainly due to the reduction in AIDS hospitalizations. The researchers suggest that the clinical benefit of ETR could be explained by a high rate of virologic suppression (62% at month 6) and excellent tolerability. The FHDH did not include adherence data, but adherence is “unlikely” to explain the better outcome, the researchers say, given that ETR is a twice-daily drug, which may lead to slightly lower adherence than does a once-daily regimen.

The is the first study, to their knowledge, the researchers say, to focus on the risk of hospitalizations in current clinical practice and to show a positive effect.

Potard V, Goujard C, Valantin MA, et al. BMC Infect Dis. 2018;8:326.
doi: 10.1186/s12879-018-3231-5.

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